Mobile World Congress 2015: Ford has announced an app that lets owners charge up their vehicle, set the cabin temperature, check battery charge level and plan journeys remotely.
The MyFord Mobile smartphone app can also suggest ways to improve your efficiency (such as optimising regenerative braking), encouraging you to do so with a ratings system inspired by gaming and fitness apps. ‘Zen’ and ‘Zippy’ are among the ratings awarded.
Rather than confuse drivers with grams per kilometre emission figures, the app shows how much CO2 has been saved in terms of filling an exercise ball or hot-air balloon. Achieving certain zero-emission benchmarks rewards the driver with badges, pop-ups and alerts.
One feature of the app known as ‘Go Times’ allows the driver to have a vehicle charged and ready to go – complete with the cabin warmed or cooled to their liking – at a specific date and time. Vehicle range can also be checked remotely.
Planning journeys, meanwhile, can be done using Nokia’s Here maps including finding charging stations along the way so you can avoid running out of juice. The app connects to the car via an onboard modem.
Ford’s Focus Electric will be one of the first vehicles in Europe to offer the MyFord Mobile app, which will be available in English, Dutch, French, German and Spanish. It will be supported by Android and iOS owners and is free for the first five years of ownership. How much it costs after that point is unknown.
Ford executive director of Connected Vehicle and Services Don Butler said: “MyFord Mobile makes owning an electric vehicle even more convenient. It displays CO2 savings in terms of objects everyone is familiar with, and shows how further energy efficiencies can be achieved in a way that is easily understood.
“Electric car drivers want to understand the environmental benefits their vehicle brings, and also to know how they could improve their contribution to help make a better future. MyFord Mobile helps them to do this.”
The Ford Focus Electric has a 143bhp electric motor that takes power from a 23kWh lithium-ion battery. It costs £33,500 before the Government grant is factored in, making it considerably more expensive than a typical Focus.
Check out our Ford Focus Electric first drive for more details on the electric car.